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MOSCOW, June 11 (Itar-Tass) - The leader of Yabloko political party Sergei Mitrokhin has picketed the State Duma in protest against the bill on the protection of believers’ feelings.
Mitrokhin was holding a poster with the party’s emblem and the slogan reading Believers’ Feelings Protection Bill Is Inquisition. He told reporters that the proposed rules were making Russia “a laughing stock” for the whole world and that in this way “the state is trying to bar itself from European liberal values.”
Yabloko’s leader believes that the proposed bill in fact prohibits dissenters from voicing alternative points of view, so the party is against its adoption.
The bill in question is to be considered by the State Duma in the final, third reading. It establishes responsibility for public action expressing obvious disrespect for society and committed for the purpose of insulting the religious feelings of believers. Punishments range from 300,000 rubles fines and mandatory public works up to 240 hours to twelve months in jail.
If committed at places of worship, religious rituals and ceremonies, the same wrongdoing will be punishable with 500,000-ruble fines, 480 hours of public works or an imprisonment of up to three years.